Author Gerry Christmas is one of “Kennedy’s Children,” an idealist who answered the call to join the Peace Corps not once but twice. In Breathing the Same Air, a gritty memoir of love and loss, he narrates his volunteer experiences in both Thailand and Samoa.

From the sultry alleys of Bangkok to the serpentine paths of his Polynesian island, Christmas explores new frontiers of mind, body, and spirit. He shares stories from cross-cultural miscues and screw-ups to Peace Corps politics and squabbles. He also ventures into the classroom where he talks about his Thai and Samoan students who effuse a certain candor, curiosity, and charm. And he narrates pursuing Aied, his long-lost love, and the difficult decision to return to the United States.

As Christmas looks back on his Peace Corps days, he is mindful of President Kennedy’s words: “… we all inhabit this small planet. We all cherish our children’s futures. We all breathe the same air. And we are all mortal.”

By Gerry Christmas

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